Fashion

'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again' Is Secretly a Menswear Masterclass

How to dress for a Mediterranean island getaway.
IMAGE Universal Pictures; Jonathan Prime for Universal Pictures
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Before anything else, I should say that Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is actually a pretty good movie on its own real merits. It's been about ten years since the first Mamma Mia, yet this sequel manages to deliver more of everything that everyone loved about the original, by once again plumbing the magic of ABBA's discography and bringing all that vibrant Scandinavian pop to life. While the film's plot does have its expected contrivances and loose ends, Here We Go Again is thoroughly enjoyable. It's charming, sometimes ridiculous, more than occasionally spectacular, and it certainly never takes itself too seriously. So yes, definitely go take your mother out to see it.

But the film has one criminally underreported facet that men who haven't dismissed it outright as a chick flick would certainly appreciate: the style.

As in the first movie, Here We Go Again takes place in a rustic Mediterranean island where Donna (Meryl Streep) and her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) have built their lives. The sequel immediately establishes that Donna has passed away, leaving Sophie to fulfill her wish of converting their island home into a beautiful boutique hotel. As Sophie works to mount the hotel's opening, the film cuts to snippets of Donna's youth (in which she is played by Lily James), including her first encounters with the three men from the first movie: Harry (Colin Firth), Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), and Sam (Pierce Brosnan), who could all be Sophie's father (and so are all her father).

Three older gentlemen you may recognize from the first movie, three different characters, three different styles. All are stylish, but sadly, none can sing. IMAGE: Jonathan Prime for Universal Pictures

That puts the movie's male main cast members at six: Sophie's three fathers and each of their younger versions (Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, and Jeremy Irvine respectively). Add the hotel manager, Señor Cienfuegos (Andy Garcia), and to a lesser extent, Sophie's husband Sky (Dominic Cooper) and that's eight guys, each uniquely and impeccably dressed to suit the beautiful backdrop of a Mediterranean island.

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Harry is Donna's first love interest here. In his youth, Harry (Hugh Skinner) is dressed like a British punk rocker from the late seventies: white graphic tee, skinny jeans, and loud green sneakers. The real style move to pull from this part of the movie is the shrunken leather jacket. Never make the mistake of oversizing when it comes to leather jackets—always err on smaller.

Young Harry embodied British punk rock with a Johnny Rotten T-shirt and a skinny leather jacket. IMAGE: Jonathan Prime for Universal Pictures0

Meanwhile, present-day Harry (Colin Firth) is a businessman who flies in from Tokyo, still clad in a rumpled suit. A standard, well-cut suit looks as good on Firth here as it did in Kingsman, but it's the half-rim sunglasses that made it instantly appropriate to the Greek island.

Bill is the next guy who Donna meets on her way to the island. Young Bill (Josh Dylan) is a yachtsman, and he dresses the part: navy blue Breton striped tee with lightweight jeans cuffed to the ankle, and of course, the all-white sneaker that says "I'm on a boat."

Young Bill (Josh Dylan) is a yachtsman with an appropriately nautical sense of style: a striped tee, lightweight jeans cuffed high above the ankle, and white sneakers that scream "I'm on a boat." IMAGE: Jonathan Prime for Universal Pictures

Present-day Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) grew up to be an award-winning author, but on the island, he dons loud printed button-downs, including one with the kind of plaid patchwork that you might see from Comme des Garçons.

Sam, on the other hand, meets Donna on the island. In the past, Sam (Jeremy Irvine) was dressed in classic Americana: dark blue jeans, a work jacket, a plain white tee with folded sleeves, and Chucks.

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Young Sam (Jeremy Irvine) could be the poster boy of late seventies Americana: work jacket, white tee, jeans, and blue jeans on a bike. IMAGE: Universal Pictures

Older Sam (Pierce Brosnan), on the other hand, has lived on the island as well, and so has grown accustomed to wearing linen shirts and slip-on espadrilles. It's simple and almost unremarkable, but it's his outfits are the perfect vacation clothes to stuff your suitcase with if you're headed somewhere warm and breezy.

But the menswear star of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again has to be Señor Cienfuegos (Andy Garcia), who doesn't get much screen time outside of the hilarious final act, but steals the scene nevertheless. Cienfuegos is impeccably dressed, like a Pitti Uomo regular: Neapolitan tailoring throughout, a cravat for that touch of sprezzatura, and brown derbies. It's how any man should hope to dress on a regular day on a beautiful island.

The most well-dressed guy in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is Señor Cienfuegos, who looks like he just flew in from Pitti Uomo. IMAGE: Jonathan Prime for Universal Pictures
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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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